By BENJAMIN SAVAGE
As we move forward through the 21st Century, we’re no doubt going to continue to see major technological shifts impacting almost every industry. But this time something very significant and very exciting is happening: not only are the types of devices and tools we use continuing to evolve, but the way in which we interact with everyday things is changing now as well. New gadgets and solutions are being created and improved, but the window through which we look at the world is also being re-examined. In other words, in addition to a “what”, we’re also becoming more and more concerned with a “how”.
Two of the most promising examples leading to this change are augmented reality and virtual reality technologies – and they’re affecting all industries, big and small, from classrooms to retail, from real estate to manufacturing.
If you’re not already familiar, augmented reality, or AR, allows you to look through the screen or lens of a device (commonly a phone, tablet, or specialized headset) and see digital content mixed together with the real world. Imagine pointing your phone’s camera at a product in a store and seeing the price, customer reviews or even a digital advertisement next to it. Imagine how much easier it would be to assemble or repair complex machinery by putting on an AR headset and seeing explanations in 3d as you work.
In contrast to augmented reality, virtual reality gives users a way of interacting with environments in a completely digital format. Several companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, UPS and KFC are using it for training their employees – and there are great advantages to this: knowledge retention rates are much higher compared to 2d software or videos, it’s a safe way to practice working in dangerous situations such as operating heavy machinery, and, lastly, it can be used to give remote collaborators or employees a realistic training experience despite their physical location.
So what does this mean for your business? It’s been proven time and time again that AR increases customer engagement and brand awareness. It drives up sales, and saves time and money. It gives customers the option to “try before they buy”, meaning that not only can they see objects as they would appear in their home environments, but also try on digital versions of things like shoes, glasses and makeup from the comfort of their homes. AR can be used for creating stunning advertisements and gives print content such as business cards, catalogs and printed stationery extra flair. It gives workers the ability to operate and repair machinery with more ease than ever before and can even be used to save lives, as can be seen in the medical industry. It’s been predicted that the AR and VR market will be worth 31 billion dollars by 2023 and as more and more companies adopt these technologies and advances in the hardware continue, AR and VR (or some combination of the two) will be ubiquitous and have just as much of an impact on our daily lives as the internet does today. This is undoubtedly the future, and early adoption is very much a strategic advantage.
All new tech is flashy – there’s no doubt about it. but the main thing that matters and will continue to matter is the way the tech is used to solve problems. If it doesn’t make our lives easier, it will quickly be replaced by something that does. You don’t own a smartphone just because it looks nice – or if you do, that’s probably not the reason you carry it around with you all day. Take away the phone capabilities, the camera, and internet, and you’ll just be left with a nice-looking paperweight.
At Chewed Pixel Studios, we apply the same philosophy of “value over appearance” when we work with our clients to come up with use cases for our technology. We look at their business from top to bottom, we ask questions, we work together with them to identify pain points and we build unique, custom-tailored solutions that are laser-focused on adding value to their business. Since each company is a unique entity with singular needs, and since the applications for AR and VR technology are so vast, we steer very clear of turnkey / cookie cutter approaches. Our solutions start with the company from day one and when the work is complete, we make sure each customer is not only extremely satisfied, but has a powerful new tool that will benefit their business in a way that wasn’t possible before.
We’re very passionate about working with this technology and we’re very strong believers in its potential. As the years go by we believe that the advancements in AR and VR tech will unlock even greater opportunities, making companies’ processes more streamlined, leading to a significant reduction in cost and time. Their customers will be more engaged and their employees will be better trained.
We pride ourselves in our ability to equip companies with the tools they need to move forward with confidence into this exciting new era and our skilled team is thrilled to delight our clients with each and every new cutting-edge project.